Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hoops - The Ugly Side of Jim Calhoun

How about Gregg Doyel's opening line on this article:

Connecticut stole a recruit from St. John's this week, and the sad part is, nobody's surprised.
UConn coach Jim Calhoun is a Hall of Famer and a champion, but when it comes to coaching, he is not a moral beacon of light. This is not a news flash.

This is the man who found a legal way to pay off the AAU coaches of three major UConn targets -- Denham Brown, Brandon Bass and Rudy Gay -- by setting up sham exhibition games with teams connected to their AAU programs. It worked so well that Brown and Gay signed with UConn ... and the NCAA changed its rules about preseason exhibitions, putting a lot of well-meaning exhibition outfits out of business.

This is the man, CBS SportsLine.com was told, who lured ACC rookie of the year Ed Nelson from Georgia Tech by communicating, through a UConn assistant, with one of Nelson's club coaches throughout Nelson's sophomore year with the Yellow Jackets. Two days before the 2003 spring signing period, way too late for Georgia Tech to find a replacement, Nelson announced he was leaving. Nelson has never been more than a role player for the Huskies, but that's not the point. Calhoun wanted him. Calhoun got him. Everyone else is collateral damage.

I'm sorry - run that last paragraph by me again? That's news to me, but really is not surprising. Anyone remember a very high level recruit by the name of Russell Robinson who said through recruiring circles that he was told by Calhoun that Georgia Tech would never contend, would never beat Duke or Carolina and that he was wasting his talent there. All paraphrased but you get the idea.

This has to be one of the most scathing articles I've read in awhile, particularly towards a guy who just was elected to the hall-of-fame. Ouch....